Tuesday, November 24, 2009

November 23, 2009 Pictures

These are just a few pictures. Just to explain a few, one foto is of fruits. Infront is a normal sized limon and guiaba, and behind are the supersized ones. Also the one in the football jerseys, if you look at mine its realy small, that is because it is for Zoee! Go America!! Lets see, and the rest are self explained i think. Sorry i could not send many baptisms ones, because my other memory card has a virus!!

I love you all
Elder Paul

November 23, 2009

Hey everyone,

Well lets see if I can get everything caught up a bit. So my comp is Elder Gomez. He is way cool. Probably the first comp that we have not had ONE problem in three weeks. We work way good together, and things are going realy well. I am still here in Salamanca, MX. Were the air is..... just wonderful! ha There are four missionaries in this little town, and we usualy end up being with the others guys quite a bit. I think I already told you one of the other Elders is Elder Su`a. He is way cool, and is a sweet missionary.

Well lets see, I always liked hearing stories, so lets see if I can think of any cool ones to share. Lets see so about two weeks ago, my companion and I had just finished chalenging like 4 families, and we were realy having trouble putting down good baptismal dates. Well we both decided to say a pray. SO latter on my companion was knocking a door, and a man walked by me. I started contacting him, and for some reason I realy felt like I should talk about baptism. I gave him the third lesson rite there and challenged him. Well his name is Ivan and he told me his cousin is a member and he used to go to the church. Well we worked with him the two weeks, he went to church, and was baptised and confirmed yesterday a member. We have had alot of other baptisms together, but this one just seemed very special, because we asked and the lord answered. It was realy cool. Lets see I have another realy cool, but for reasons unknown to you guys, it will be one more of those awesome storries for after themission! Wich is in about 10 months. My companion and I are having break downs because we have such little tiempo left.

Well we had about 43 lessons this last week. It is not too bad, but we feel bad because we feel like with us both, and the fact that we both have time in our mission we can realy do better. We have decided that we are going to try to teach 75 lessons this week to investagators. It is a realy high goal but i am sure we can do it, and our goal is to have 50 new investagators this week. Neither of us have had that many, and i am pretty sure no one in the mission has, so hopefully if we are faithful, and obidient we can complete the goal. We have our goals written all of the house, as well as the quote from President Thomas S Monson that says, Pray as if everything depends on god, Work as if everything depends on you!

Well lets see other than that me and Suà were talking about how different things are going to be when we go back. It is so hard for me to imagine things like Carpet, beds that go past my shins, Doors that I do not have to duck under, Stoves that do not explode sometimes, Turning on a water pump if there is no water in the house, having the lights go off all the time, and having to wake up at 6 to turn on the boiler to heat the water up. Ya i think it will be quite a shock. Well I love you all, and I am going to try to send off some picuters rite now!

I love you all,
Elder Paul

November 17, 2009

Hey jsut warning you this is going to be realy short! We were not able to write yesterday, and someone just texted me and said they want to be baptised so we are going to be heading off rite now.

But everything is going way good! We ahve a ton of work! But it is realy FUn! I only have a request. Can you sent a bottle of the consetrated root beer? Just a few if you can. We are going to do a ward activity, and im going to make root beer and fried ice cream!

I love you all tons!
Elder Paul

November 9, 2009

Hey everyone, another change down! Can you believe I only have 7 changes left! I realy dont like thinking that I have so little time left. Well my last comp got changed just today. He was a good guy, but I cant say that I am going to miss his presence a ton. Especially with the new comp and the other elder in the other area that just got here today. My new companion is Elder um.... I dont remeber his name, if you know me too well you will know that is not too wierd for me not to remeber a name, and i dont want to ask him to turn around or tell me his name, so he is not offended, so I will get back to you on his name. The other Elder who came, who has been here with us all day is Sua. He is from Cali, and is way tite! We have just been talking alot today while we have been washing, and ya, im excited to have them here. We have some big plans, and are going to try to baptise 30 people between us two in December. (ONly if the people are ready)

Other than that, there is not to much else new. We are going out to eat tacos tonight. I am way excited because I have not had them in a way long time! And.... Well I guess that is pretty much it from me for this week. I will try hard to have more things to talk about next week!

I love you all tons, and keep the letters coming!
Elder Paul!

Mi compa es Elder Gomez! And I remebered all on my own!!

November 4, 2009

Hey everyone,

First off sorry this is late. We did not have any time at all on MOnday due to cleaning a school here. It was crazy hard work! But I think the kids will realy love what we have done! But wow, I hope everyone appreciates what we have in our school system there in the US! BUt we cut grass( with machetis), trimmed trees, moved rock piles, layed cement, cleaned class rooms, fixed desks, painted, and cleaned out ALOT of trash! But I think the whole neiborhood, was pretty excited to see us there cleaning.

Well then yesterday we were planning on writing realy quick, but ended up heading to Irapuato (Another City) For a zone conference. And were there quite sometime, and then all afternoon we had um, i dont remeber the word, but Citas. Um like lessons set up with people.

Well the zone Conference was AWESOME! I cant remeber having one ever so fun, and so useful! We had the usual start, recognizing, birthdays, baptisms, and the elders returning home. We then started to practice. We practiced, lessons, contacts, and knocking doors. It was great, Pres was rite in the middle, helping us all, and giving us all examples. He and I did one example, were we kinda ended up just jocking around, and I searched his suit jacket to make sure he was not a cop (Ha long story made short) But, I had a talk with pres, got a couple worries, off my chest, and everything seems realy good with him! I feel realy good about things. We also talked alot about what kind of baptisms are in the Name of Jesus Christ, and any "shady" baptisms are not of him!

Lets see, well this last week has been REALY tough! We have worked very hard, and did not see many results for it. I was feeling realy down, when a member told me that I had know Idea what results were did I? Lol I looked at her stunned, and she told me to look at the ward, how much more they are trying to help, and How they want to do things again, and that if I cant see the results, I must be blind. Ha, Well she was very strait forward, but it was good to hear! ha

Lets see, I do not think I have said much about my new companion. His name is Elder Perez. He is from Montery, Mexico. He is 19 years old, and looks chinese (to me) He is a good guy, and we both have alot of learning to do, but get along well. He is also helping me realy, get rid of my problem I have with my Pride! ha it is tough at times.

Lets see, I have also started teaching free english and piano classes. THey are realy fun. I think I would realy like to teach english at nights someday, to people trying to learn. It is definatly fun, they get frustrated at times, because I try to speak mostly english with them, they are learning realy quick, and I cant believe how fast they are picking it up. THey definatly wont be ready to write a book any time soon, but they are learning to have simple conversations! And piano lessons are fun too. I have the simplified himbook in spanish along with a book on were notes are and how to read them. And the two classes are realy drawing in investagators!

I think that is about it, other than that we are still working hard, and hoping that we will be able to meet all our goals or die trying (ha and with the air here maybe both! ha that is just a joke!)Well I hope everything is going well there at home. Man I cant believe how much emily and heidi have changed in the last year or so! It is crazy! Please let ben and everyone else know I would love more pics of all them!

I love you all
Elder Paul

October 26, 2009

Hey everyone,

Well its another week down, and I think the last of the weeks, that I am going to have too much time to write. You see we are going to start the month of sacrfice again, and im pushing for having the months of sacrifece until next January. But, lets see ill get you caught up on our plans. My companion and I (He was a bit reluctant but agreed) are going to go for 10 baptisms in the next 3 weeks, and then we are going to start trying to find people who are ready, to be baptised in December. We are going to try to go for 13 baptisms in the first week of December. You see we have a goal we are working towards called a white Christmas. We are going to try to have a white out Christmas by having all the people who are ready to be baptised, in white baptismal clothes in December. It should be pretty cool. As well, as every comp is going to try for 13 baptisms, and if we can, we should be able to have 1000 baptisms in December, But do not worry, we have many rules layed down, and there will not be any baptisming people who are not listos.

Well other than that, we had a baptisms again this week. The guy was very excited to be a member, and always has the biggetst smile on his face.

Lets see, other than that I cant think of much else, and I am just about out of time, so I will try to work very hard this week, so that I have more to write home next week.

Love you all,
Elder Paul


Thank you for the letter, ya the mission is a great expericence, but I sure am learning a very good lesson. Ha you see I used to hear people say the mission was the best two years of their lives, and I used to confuse that with the "funnest two years" or maybe even " easiest two years" Wow have I found out I had no idea. This is definatly not easy, and it has alot of times, that maybe its not the funnest, but It is the best. Thank you for your example always!


I have a little storry for you that I think you would like. It is about an eagle and chickens. You see a mama chicken was out with her chicks one day when they saw an eagle flying high overhead. She decided that she wanted her chickens to be like that eagle. Well the baby chickens were sent up the moutain to learn. THe Eagle told them they needed to spread there wings and jump. The chiks explained " We are chickens, we dont fly we walk!" The eagle again explained to them what they needed to do. After a few minutes the baby chickens, started to flap their wings, and soon they were flying high in the air, just like any other bird, as marvelous and brillant as any eagle. After a long day of learning, and much excitment they returned to the moutain, excited to tell there mom. THey then continued to WALK down the moutain and WALK home. I realy like this lesson because alot of times we have experiences that change us, that make us excited to work, and to help others. And we have the desire, and sometimes in the moment start to do so. But so many of us, many times in our lives, like those little chicks, end up Walking home, note using anything that we learned, and return to our old lives again. Hope you like it, lol it is still a work in process! ha


Freak bro write me, I need to know what is up! were you planning on heading off two, how is school, the girls, Cali? I love you bro!


Hey I know you have had some hard times lattly, and I think we talked about alot of them, but keep in there little sister. Your strong, and dont forget it. Just stay close to your Heavenly Father, especially rite now. THis last year of High School will be fun, but be sure to keep him in on all your decisions! Hey so Logan next year huh? Sounds sweet! I love you little sis!


Wow not only the first ever cross country runner in the family, but the first real forensics girl as well! I am pretty excited I will be able to see ya in a year or so, and you can show off your mad skills! I hear your a fast runner, That a girl! Keep it up Heidi, you have always been such a nice girl, and so very selfless! Dont ever lose that! I know you are far from a baby, but you still are my baby sister! I love you Lots Baby sis!

Well I love you all lots, and hope you all have a great week!
Elder Paul

October 19, 2009

Hey everyone,

THis was a very busy week, but in reality ver univentful, so this is probably going to be pretty short. Well we are still working our tells off, but with alot less results this week. Even though we passed with about 9 different families yesterday morning to join us for church, only three people finially decided to come with us. But we will just have to redouble our efforts!

Other than that We are working hard to find lots of new investagators, and try to get all the inactive members to start coming back to church again. It is cool because most of them realy do want to come back, it just seems like they were waiting for the invitation.

I promise next weeks letter will be alot better, just forgive me for now!

Elder Paul

October 12, 2009

Ok, Well I am going to see if I can get everything all caught up for everyone! Well THings are going good. But I am WORn Out. I decided awhile back that it was silly for me to keep worrying about all the bad things that were going on, if I was not trying with all my might to spread more good. So for the past two weeks (Since the change started) I have been getting up a half hour earlier to excercise, and then to study, so we can get out of the house earlier! As well as, Well I guess Elder Gray told you, I am a leader again, and I have a companion that I am training. So I usualy get to bed at about 11 or so. (I get up at about 5:30 or 6 each morning! ) Well we are working VERY hard, and have broken a record here in our area. Well two to be exact. You see before the most investagators in to come to our ward in a week was 4. This past sunday we made it to 11. THey are all way amazing, and are realy great to watch progress and learn. As well as in our little ward, we have been at about 50-60 people attending. This past week we had 90 people in the church, all content, and having a great time. So even though I think I am more tired than I have ever been, well things are going Pretty Good!

Ya Elder Gray is a great guy! We had a knew rule put in that we cant call Elders that are not in our zone. Probably because of me and Gray getting things going, lol but ya he is great! Please tell him hi! And let him know who i am doing! I am planning on going to alaska for a week shortly after we get back to go chill with him, and then he plans to head out with us!

So lets see. Well we had our zone conference, and it went realy good. We are realy going to start focusing on trying to help the memebers help us. It should go very good I think. We are going to have less time, talking about nothing with members, and more time, helping them spread the Good word! (The Gospel :) )

So in the conference we had a little example, were they put a few of us elders up to arm wrestle. Lol you will be excited to know I went undeafeated against everyone, and against my last one (A very BIG tongan) we went at it for about 10 minutes before he gave in, but both of our arms were pretty sore afterwards.

Well lets see, Rite now we are teaching alot of people. Including one family that are Jehovas witnesers. Who they i would have to say are the hardest to teach. It is realy hard for them to open their heart alot of times, and realy try to feel what is true. I think that happens with alot of us alot of times. We get too interested, in wanting proof that we do not let our faith work for anything. Its crazy how many things I am learning here! ha

So I have good news and bad news. The bad news first is that I still do not have tennis shoes. And that leads to the good news. We have been teaching a family that the parents are not married. Well it is a commandment that we need to be married to the man or woman we are leaving with, and they wanted to live the commandment, but didnt have the money to get the papers they needed to be married. Well I am just letting you know the money went to very good use! I helped them out, it was about 75 dollars in the end, but they are very happy, and I will send you pitures of the wedding. It was very pretty, and they are way happy. Dont be upset, I have decided that I dont need tennis yet, and that that was probably a much better use of my birthday money! I am not saying it proudly, but so that you guys know how much you helped to change a young couples lives!

Well things, are going much better in the mission. I have tried to put alot more effort into changing my own life, but things are realy looking alot better! Thank you for so much support you have giving me, and please tell Elder Hinkley, We are working hard, to get things going good!

Well I dont know if you guys sent the package yet, but since it didnt come in zone conference, i am thinking there is a chance you havnt. So I am going to see if I can throw in a request. I have the electric razor we bought at walmart. It is not one with a round head but with the flat head, and I think it is the cheaper of the two. It says you need to change the blades every year, and with my THICK THICK beard :) its starting to not cut! Is there any way you can see if you can find the replacment blades for it? And if you can believe it, I actully do get a 5 oclock shadow. Ok, maybe more of a 6:30 prickle, but its getting there! Also my second request. Could you send athlete foot spray. They dont have it here, and everyone has realy ugly feet, and I realy dont want that, so that one is kinda an emergency! And last, did you ever talk to Dentist Robertson, about my teath, and if there is anything I can do. They are not bad at all, but I am just nervous of them getting bad, because I am starting to lose weight again!

I love you all very much, and cant wait to hear from everyone. How is everyone, and could you please send me pictures of the family, and of Zoee Zaylee, and ashton?

I love you all,
Elder Paul

October 5, 2009

Good Monday to you all!

How is everyone doing? tHINGS are pretty good here in Samanca. Just warning you this may be short. I was just walking down the street looking in my wallet, when I SMASHED my head on a roof. Yes you heard me rite, a Roof! And ya like, my head hurts pretty good, and I have a huge lump, so I will probably not stay here in the internet too long.

Well I dont remeber if I told you that I got a new companion. HE is new and his name is Elder Perez, from monterey. He is pretty cool, lol but like alot, dont think that us americans know much! jaja But that is ok. The area is going alot better, and we are having alot more success. For General conference we have to travel about an our by bus to another city, to watch conference in a steak center over satelite. Ha Just think of bringing little kids to the stake center for 6 hours to watch all the sissioncs. But we had 5 invesagators go with us, so it was pretty cool!

Other than that we are working trying to get the members more involved in the work. Ha it has been fun, and we have an activity planeed. we are going to set up a movie at the church, and then have ever member bring a friend. We wont be talking about the church, but since they will be at the church, the subject is sure to come up. Kepp us in your prayers that we will have alot of success.

Lets see other than that there is not too much new. Except that i do~have a question. I have been told that it is fairly common when you lose alot of weight, but I have noticed, my teeth are starting to scruntch together, and the bottom ones are pretty bad. Could you ask Doc. Roberton if there is anything I can do to preven that, I would realy rather not get braces!!

I love you all lots,
Elder Paul

September 21, 2009

Hello its me!

Can you believe that I am going to be 21 in like 5 days! it is nuts to think about! I am actually kinda nervous! I feel like an old man! Mom thank you for the emails and letting me know what all is going on! I am still a bit confused at everything, so I am going to call up Pres Cox and ask if we can have a little meating. That is crazy that we have new bishop. Who is he?? Do i know bro. thompson? I still cant believe Bish. messer is now Pres. Messer! That is cool he will release me though! Mom could you ask him about the letter he wrote. I have not gotten any from him since well evertything started happing, but you had told me he had send one! So i never did get it. Well things here have actually been pretty tough this week. The small city thing is kinda hurting us rite now, because alot of freiends are trying to pull the people who want to do the write thing down. It is funny how that happens alot of times! Even with very good friends, sometimes, we do not want them to do or go for somthing better, and want them to just be happy with us, no matter what we are doing!

Lets see other than that I think the biggest news at that I finaly washed all my bed sheets. Seeing as they looked bad ( That is a big deal seeing as most missionaries never do that in there mission) Well I had to run them through about 4 times, and every time the water was a gross grey color, but I finaly have clean sheets, and it is pretty sweet!

Well other than that I had to give a talk yesterday in church, and like we do every time we talk we talked about the part of members in the mission work! It is funny how before the mission I thought it would be so hard to give a reference, but now its seems like it should be so easy! Well here are some interesting stats out of this months liahona. 1 out of 1000 doors knocked has someone who will be baptised. 600 out of every 1000 references are baptised! That is a 600% difference! And if every member were to bring a friend to church one time every year, in 10 years the whole world would be members! Kinda cool huh! Be sure to always try to help the Elders there at the house.

When Elder Bednar spoke to us he spoke about praying in faith. He said that when we pray, if we pray for the missionaries to find people, we are not praying in faith, because we are not praying to act, we are praying that someone is acted apon. I also (cant remeber the movie) but always have remebered a quote. In the quote it said that "If we pray for patience, do you think god zaps us with patience, or gives us the oppurtunity to be patient. If we pray for bravery, does god just send it to us, or does he send us the oppurtunity to be brave." If we pray for missionary experiences, God probably is not going to send someone to your front door, in white clothes ready for baptisms, but will probably send you someone in your path to share with!

Well that is about all I have for this week.

P.S. mom I did get yours and Sister Grays emails, and I will get back to you as soon as I can!

I love you very much
Elder paul

September 16, 2009

Hey Mom,

Its your lovely wonderful son Elder Paul again. SO i have some good news and some bad news. You see, I had told you that my garments are getting pretty bad, well I washed them the other day (with a 1/4 cup of bleach) and now the croch of all but two pairs are gone! Most of them didnt have much holding the croch on anyway, but now they are just non exsitant... So my question is, if you and Dad can maybe send me an early Christmas present and send me some money for garments and shoes.... I know it is alot to ask, and if you realy cant, just let me know, and I will try to sow them again or something. BUt if you can spare it would be GREATLY appreciated. TOday is a holiday here in Mexico, so we have to stay out of the streets, so if you can answer me back as soon as you can (Maybe today if possible) That would be great, and we can try to figure this out!

I love you lots,
Elder Paul

September 14, 2009

Well hey everyone, it is the end of another week! It is starting to get rediculous how fast the weeks go by! Well, there realy is not too much new. BUt i do have some good news. We have jsut been informed that we are not going to have a month of sacrifice until December, wich means we will be getting complete preperation days! SO that is good, it will probly be my first time since starting the mission! SO I am ready for the day to relax a bit each week!

Well yesterday we had a pretty cool experience. I guy came into the church and asked if we could teach him how to pray. Well my companion was on the phone talking, so I had the oppurtunity to teach him one on one. He realy liked hearing about prophets, and baptism, and we are set up to meet him tomorrow again. For me it was realy amazing, because we realy struggled finding anyone this week, we sat down to talk about what we were gonig to do, and in walked Hugo, and said he needed help. It just amazed me how stressed I was to find people, and realizing that when we are ready, GOd will send people to us!

Well I realy do not have to many other things to talk about from the week, but I hope everyone will let me know how they are! Let emily know I am upset at her, because I even wrote her this time, and she didnt write back! How is Heidi doing in Cross country?

Well I love everyone!
Elder Paul

September 7, 2009

Hey everyone it is me agian!

HOw is all? It realy is way hard to think of new things each week. But I heard that BYU beat Oklahoma! YES that is awesome, hopefully that will get us Moutain west in there! And that is all I am going to alk about with football because, if not I will miss it! ha

So lets see for this week, well I am the one who goes to all the little small cities around us to do baptismal interviews. I had the opurtunity last tuesday to do one that I will never forget! Her name was Flur and she had alot of questions concerning her baptism. The interview was about an hour, and during the time, she asked me why I was on a mission. I have never felt quite like I did then when I have born my testimony, and she asked me if I could baptise her Saturday. So we took the hour bus back out there and Flor was baptised. It was a very amazing experience!

Ok so now in Salmanca it is our rainy season, and wow does it poor, I have never ever seen it poor so hard before. In fact the other night at about 11:30 at night a member across the road from us called us and told us her gate had blown down, and that her cover came down as well, and she could not even open the door. Well we got up and headed over in the POURING rain. THe water was about up to our knees, and Very Verry Cold! Well we tied her fence up, and moved the cover so she could open her door, and headed back! WE WERE drenched after about 30 seconds in the rain, so the next day we both woke up sniffling quite a bit! But we put on work clothes and started fixing up her house. I even welded her gate! You see the bishop came over with a welder and started trying to weld, when, they cord caught on fire. I looked over and realized he was using like a 20 Amp 120V extencsion cord, and he took out the house power. So I "Jiffy Rigged" The welder strait into the houses metter, (the bishop had left) and wellded the gate up, I was pretty proud, lol and the gate is still holding strong! We also bought and put up a new shelter over her porch/living room, and We got her power back up and going!

Our appartment is also struggling a bit. Well first off I had to take down all the lamps we had inside and put in just light outlets, because my head was starting to hurt from hitting them so much, But because of all the rain, the bugs have come out. So In United States we do not have the Opurtunity to see Cocroaches too much, Well here I DO! You see with the rain our cocroach farm has like doubled, So here are some things I have found usuful here. First off, when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, it is good to have my eyes closed when I turn the light on, so they can all scatter first. Also when I go to put my sandles on, to pic them up and wiggle them to get any bugs off them. Also when we sleep to make sure the covers do not touch the ground because the bugs will crall up them. And to always have my covers up over my face, to keep mesquitos off! And lastly to keep EVERY type of food in the fridge! Haha, just fun things I have gotten to learn, as well as the power of RAID spray

Ok my last storry is also another lauging one, that I just think is hilarous. You see here they eat all part of animals. We were over at a members house the other day when a little girl came running in with a chickens foot sticking out of her mouth. I thought maybe she accidently ate a whole chicken or something :S But I guess they just eat chicken feet for fun ( I have been told it is like chewing on fingernails) Welll we were over at a new investegators house, he has grown up in United States, so we spoke the whole time in English (It was realy hard) and he said the same thing. He said that he could not believe that people eat chicken feet. HE told us that his girlfriend was eating one and then tried to kiss him and he said "NO YOU HAVE CHICKEN FOOT BREATH!" I thought it was hillarious, and is my new favorite quote!

Well things are going great here, and it sounds like things are going good there at home, I only have one request. You see I am getting a package together to send home in about October with all your Presents! They are all pretty cool, but I would like to send home just one box. I have presents for Josh, Robert, Dallon, and Jen. Just small things, but my problem is that It will probably run me more money then I have to send it. So I am wondering if you can help me get the money together to send it home. But do not worry I do not need the money too soon, just wanted to ask, and give you a heads up!

Well I love you ALl very much,
Elder Paul!e

August 31, 2009 Pictures

Burned my arm on a boiler.

My bandage.

My burn after a few days.

My owie toe - it looked a lot worse the next day.

Daniel ready for me to baptize him.

August 31, 2009 - Pictures

My last ward getting ready for a baptism.

In the lake baptizing.

After a very col baptism.

Found some service to do.

My last district.

Me and Elder Gray headed to Leon.

Monday, November 16, 2009

August 31, 2009

Hey everyone how is it going,

Well Ihave now finished my second week in Salamanca, and I think my lungs hate this place! ha I know that I have told you that this place is realy dirty, but I am going to explain a little more how dirty it is. So the other day it rained and the next day it was way humid. Well at the end of the day, every single person had black faces and arms. ME and my companion took pictures to show you. It is pretty gross.

We have been working with alot of people for getting ready for baptism, but are having alot of troubles with familes. It is funny because most families are not active catholcs, but they are so afraid of someone leaving their liitle circle for something better, that they do everything they can to drag them back in!

Ok well I do not have too much new to write, so I am just going to tell you a little storry I read the other day. Here as a missionary sometimes it is hard because we can see so many bad things going on in the world, and sometimes if feels very overwhelming. This storry helps alot.

"The Starfish"

An old man was walking along the beach. In the distance he saw someone who seemed to be dancing along the waves. As he got closer he saw a young man picking up starfish and tossing them back into the ocean.

"What are you doing?" The old man asked.

"The sun is coming up, and the tide is going out. If I do not throw them in they will die!"

"But young man, there are miles and miles of beachwth starfish all along it. You can´t possibly make adifference."

The young man bent down, picked up a starfish and threw it back past the breaking waves.

"It made a difference to that one!"

The young man´s action represent something ineach of us. We are all gifted with the ability to make a difference. Each of us can shape out own future, and each of us can help others reach their potential. I realy love this storry and it is definatly one of my new favorites, no matter how much of an uphill battle it seems we can ALWAYS make a difference!

It still blows my mind that my little bro Ben is heading out for college! Does he have a laptop or anythng. How is Volley going for Emily, and did her boyfriend already leave? Heidi is running cross country? That is sweet! How is she doing in that! Mom you said that Zoee is talking up a storm now. When I left she was still working on putting sentences together. Is there anyway you guys could record it on your cell phone, and send it to my email?

I love each and everyone of you!

Please keep writing,

Elder Paul

August 24, 2009

Hey everyone,

Ok so another week down, well this week has been very good. The hardest part is still the stinking air, and water. Ok my new sity is call Salamanca, Mexico, I would sayit is like the size of mesquite. And wow it has a gas refinary, lke the size of Logandale. And man is it dirty. THere is a constant rise of thick BLACK smoke! And the funniest, is that everyday we find new birds that are just dead on the street. Ha the air is that bad, that birds actually just fall out of the sky! jaja

Oh by the with any mail or packages, you will ALWAYS send them to that one address I gave you. That is the address for the mission home, and then about once a month or twice, pres comes around to all the areas and gives them to us, it is much easier that way!

Can you all believe that next month is my b-day, it seems like just yesterday, I was back at home for my bday and getting ready to leave a week from that! Kinda nuts.

So lets see the area here is alot tougher than my old one. We have been knocking alot, and it is realy hard to find anyone, because everyone knows who we are already, so we are working on trying to get mor referances now. As well as I have been going through all the registros of all the old investagators. And that actually is working very well. We found one person who had been going to church in Texas, until he moved here last week. We found out from the elders up there that he had been going for a few months, and was living all the laws. He asked us to be baptised, and so Daniel Sanchez was baptised by me on Saturday. It was very cool, and he was crying he was so excited!

Other than that there is not much new. I love you all and hope all is going very well. Tell Emily To keep her head up, and if she is planning on waiting for the guy, to make sure she makes the best of life rite now, and just have fun her last year of freedom. Tell Ben I love him and hope to hear from him lots (Does he have a laptop?) Tell Heidi I am proud of her and her p blessing, and that I miss getting all of her emails! and could you see if jaycie got my b day card. I didnt know they were moving so I sent it to the last address that I recieved from them! And Dad, could you start writing my once in awhile in spanish?

I love you all,

Elder Paul

August 19, 2009

Hey everyone!!

How is everything going? Well I am sorry I did not write on Monday or yesterday but I have been pretty busy. Lets see on Sunday night as I guessed I got a phone call from the new assistant who told me that I was going to be changed. So all Sunday night I was washing clothes and packing in order to be ready to head to Lèon for a conference we had with Elder Christoferson. The conference was aweseom. TO be truthful he did not say anything that I was hopeing and praying he would, but he did say everything exactly that I needed to hear. So after that I headed off to my new area. It is a whole city and we are the only Elders. And wow wee it is in the middle of nowere. It is also if you want to look it up voted as the most polluted city in Mexico. Im hoping my lungs can get used to the air hear so close to the gas refinery.

As well as having this city we have a lot of small little villages that are close to us as well. So yesterday we drove out to one of these villages and baptized two little kids, who have been awesome in getting there dad active again!! I will try to send pictures next week as well. The font is great, because, well you will see!

My new companion is Elder Call and he will be heading home soon. I am the Señor companion wich I do not think that he liked to much because he will be heading home soon, and although I am not going to bring it up with him, he was one of the 6 Elders who went out on the little rondevue!

But the area is great! The compaonion is cool, and I feel good. I am still working on getting over the stomache problems and they are looking to be a lot better! I am not a leader rite now, but I liked it a lot today. We had to take a hour bus ride to go into the nearest city to have our district conference, and It was nice to just be asked what we can do to be better, and to give what I have learned. Who knows if the position will come again, but I think more than anything I have learned that the Position Of The Misionary, DOES NOT MAKE THE MISSIONARY!!

Ok one last thing, so after putting that money in I had 30 dollars left, but I could only pull out 20 because I did not want to go over in anyway again. Dad if you want go ahead and check it out on the bank online. Well my problem is this….. I had to pay 150 pasos to come here to my area on the bus, as well as 25 pasos to go to the district meeating. So I am sitting on about 25 pasos (2.50$) Rite now. I know it is a pain, but is there anyting you can send. I do not have any money for food or water rite now, and I do not get my money back from the busses for like 2 weeks. Sao if you could please let me know if there is anything you can do soon that would be great! Sorry again for all the money problems I realy wish I did not have to worry about it!

But I love you all very much! Please ask ben to email me, so that I have his email address again. I do not have it anymore, and I would like to through him a wave!

I love you all,

Elder Paul

August 10, 2009

(Adam's dad Ken looked over the translation and was pretty impressed. If you haven't read the book, you might want to check it out. In any language, it is a wonderful story we all would do well to internalize.)

Here is "You are special" That I translated into spanish. Dad you will have to tell me how I did. And yes I used a spell check. (Just to remind you "you are special" is the book about the little wooden pupets who judge everyone by putting stickers on them)

Tú eres especial

Los Wemmicks eran gente pequeña hechas de madera. Todos estaban tallados por un artesano llamado Elí. Su taller formaba parte de una colina con vista a la villa. Cada wemmick era diferente. Unos tenían grandes narices, otros grandes ojos. Algunos eran altos y otros bajitos. Algunos usaban sombreros, otros abrigos. Pero todos eran construidos por el mismo artesano y vivían en una preciosa villa.

Todos los días, cada día, los wemmicks realizaban la misma tarea: se regalaban etiquetas unos a otros. Cada wemmick tenía una caja de etiquetas de estrellas doradas y una caja de etiquetas de puntos grises.

Al subir y bajar por las calles de la preciosa villa, la gente empleaba su tiempo en pegarse etiquetas de doradas estrellas o de puntos grises, unos a otros.

Los más hermosos, aquellos construidos con madera pulida y hermosos colores, siempre obtenían estrellas. Pero si la madera estaba áspera o la pintura desconchada, los wemmick pegaban etiquetas grises sobre ellas.

También los talentosos obtenían estrellas. Algunos podías levantar grandes garrotes sobre sus cabezas o saltar sobre cajas altísimas. Otros sabían decir bellas palabras o podían cantar canciones hermosas. Todo el mundo les otorgaba estrellas. Algunos estaban totalmente cubiertos de estrellas. Cada vez que ellos obtenían una estrella, ¡ los hacía sentirse tan bien! Esto los estimulaba a querer hacer algo más para alcanzar otra estrella.

Sin embargo, otros, hacían algunas cosas que a los demás no les agradaba, y obtenían puntos grises.

Ponchinelo era uno de esos. Él trataba de saltar como los demás, pero siempre caía. Cuando caía, los demás hacían una rueda alrededor de él y le daban puntos grises.

Algunas veces al caerse, su madera se raspaba, así que sus vecinos le daban más puntos grises. Entonces, cuando trataba de explicar la causa de su caída, de sus labios salía alguna tontería y los wemmicks le daban más puntos grises.

Después de un tiempo. Ponchinelo tuvo tantos puntos grises feos que no quería salir a la calle. Tenía mucho miedo de hacer algo estúpido como olvidar su sombrero o caminar en el agua, y que la gente le volviera a dar otro punto. La verdad es que tenía tal cantidad de puntos grises sobre él, que cualquiera se le acercaba y le añadía uno más sólo por gusto.

“Él merece montones de puntos”, comentaban la gente de madera, de acuerdo unos con otros. “Él no es buena persona de madera”, decían.

Después de un tiempo, Ponchinelo creyó lo que decían sus vecinos. “Yo no soy un buen wemmick”, decía. En poco tiempo, él salió a la calle y empezó a relacionarse con otros wemmicks que tenían un montón de puntos grises. Él se sintió mejor entre ellos.

Un día, él se encontró una wemmick que era diferente a cualquiera de las que siempre había conocido. No tenía puntos ni estrellas. Era puramente madera. Se llamaba Lucía. Esto no se debía a que sus vecinos no trataban de pegarle sus correspondientes etiquetas; sino a que las etiquetas no se pegaban a su madera.

Algunos wemmicks admiraban a Lucía por no tener puntos, de modo que corrían hacia ella y le daban una estrella. Pero la etiqueta no se pegaba. Otros no la tenían en cuenta al ver que ella no tenía estrellas, y le daban un punto. Pero tanto la estrella como el punto se despegaban.

“Yo quiero ser de esa madera”, pensó Ponchinelo. “No quiero marcas de nadie”. Así que le preguntó a la wemmick que no tenía etiquetas cómo ella había podido lograr tal cosa. -“Es muy fácil”, le contestó Lucía. “Todos los días voy a ver a Elí”.

-¿Elí?, preguntó Ponchinelo.

-“Sí, Elí. El artesano. Y me siento en el taller con él”.

-¿Por qué?, preguntó Ponchinelo.

–“Por qué no lo averiguas por ti mismo? Sube a la colina. Él está ahí” Y dicho esto la wemmick que no tenía etiquetas ni puntos dio la vuelta y se alejó dando salticos.

-“Pero, ¿querrá el artesano verme a mí?, le gritó Ponchinelo. Lucía no lo oyó.

Así que, Ponchinelo, regresó a casa. Se sentó cerca de la ventana y se puso a observar a la gente de madera cómo corrían de aquí para allá dándose estrellas o puntos unos a otros. - “Eso no es justo”, refunfuñó. Y decidió ir a ver a Elí.

Él se acercó al estrecho camino que iba a la cima de la colina y fue en dirección del taller grande. Al entrar allí, sus ojos se abrieron desmesuradamente ante las cosas que veía. El taburete era tan alto como él mismo. Tuvo que estirarse sobre la punta de sus pies para mirar la altura de la mesa de trabajo. Un martillo era tan largo como su brazo. Ponchinelo tragó saliva. “¡No voy a quedarme aquí!”, y se dio vuelta para salir.

Entonces oyó su nombre. -“¿Ponchinelo?”. La voz era fuerte y profunda.

Ponchinelo se detuvo. –“¡Ponchinelo! ¡Qué bueno que has venido! Ven y déjame mirarte”. Ponchinelo se volvió lentamente y vio la gran barba del artesano.

-¿Tú sabes mi nombre?”, preguntó el wemmick.

– “Por supuesto que lo sé. Yo te hice a ti”.

Elí se inclinó, recogió del suelo a Ponchinelo y lo colocó sobre la mesa de trabajo. “Hum”, dijo el artesano pensativamente mientras miraba los puntos grises.

-“Parece que has recibido marcas malas”.

– “No significa eso, de verdad, yo me esforcé mucho por no recibirlas, Elí”.

– “Oh, no tienes que defender tus acciones ante mí, muchacho. Yo no me preocupo por lo que los demás wemmick piensan”.

-“¿No te importa?”

– “No, y tú no deberías hacerlo tampoco. ¿Quiénes son ellos para dar estrellas o puntos? Son wemmick exactamente como tú. Lo que ellos piensan no importa, Ponchinelo. Lo único importante es lo que yo pienso. Y yo pienso que tú eres muy especial”.

Ponchinelo sonrió. - “¿Especial, yo? ¿Por qué? No puedo caminar aprisa. No puedo saltar. Mi pintura está desconchada. ¿Por qué soy importante para ti?”

Elí contempló a Ponchinelo, puso sus manos sobre sus hombros y le dijo: -“Porque eres mío”. Esa es la razón de que seas importante para mí”.

Ponchinelo nunca había tenido a alguien que lo viera de esa forma _mucho menos su creador. No sabía qué responder.

- “Cada día he estado esperando que tu vinieras”, explicó Elí.

- “Vine porque me encontré con alguien que no tenía marcas”, dijo Ponchinelo.

- “Lo sé. Ella me habló de ti”

-“Por qué las etiquetas no se pegan sobre ella?”

-“Porque ella decidió que lo que Yo pienso es más importante que lo que ellos piensan. Las etiquetas únicamente se pegan si tú permites que lo hagan”.


-“Las etiquetas sólo se pegan si son importantes para ti. Lo más importante es que confíes en mi amor, y dejes de preocuparte por sus etiquetas”.

-“No estoy seguro de haber comprendido”.

Elí sonrió. -“Lo vas a intentar: pero esto tomará tiempo. Tienes demasiadas marcas. Por ahora, sólo ven a verme todos los días y déjame recordarte cuanto te amo”.

Elí levantó a Ponchinelo de la mesa y lo puso en el suelo. Y cuando el wemmick salía por la puerta, le dijo:

-“Recuerda, tú eres especial porque yo te hice, y yo no cometo errores”.

Ponchinelo no se detuvo, pero en su corazón pensaba: “Eso explica por qué soy especial ante sus ojos”. Y al comprenderlo al fin, un feo punto gris cayó sobre la tierra.